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Most Common Mistakes People Make After a Car Accident

Maximize Your Claim by Dodging These Mistakes

Have you ever wondered why some car accident cases in New Jersey ended with less-than-favorable outcomes? Often, it’s due to common mistakes made right after the accident. A Shrewsbury car accident attorney can guide you through the legal maze that follows a car crash. 

Yet, many people unknowingly jeopardize their chances by making errors in the crucial moments following a collision. These missteps can range from neglecting to gather vital evidence to admitting fault prematurely. Understanding these pitfalls is the first step toward protecting your rights and ensuring a fair resolution to your case.

Quick Summary

Below is an overview of the critical points of this blog article.

  • After a car accident, avoid common mistakes like leaving the scene, not checking for injuries, or failing to call the police. Don’t admit fault or give too much info to insurance companies. Gather evidence, exchange info with the other driver, and seek legal help early.
  • Making mistakes after a car accident can lead to not getting enough compensation or making a lawsuit less likely to succeed. However, a good lawyer can still help you get the money you deserve if you act quickly.
  • After an accident, act fast because in New Jersey, you usually have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit before a judge might reject your case.
  • In a New Jersey car accident case, compensation depends on fault and damages. The court decides fault based on negligence, then considers your economic and non-economic damages, covering financial losses and intangible harms like pain and suffering.
  • A Shrewsbury car accident lawyer can assist you by gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, calculating your costs, maintaining records, hiring experts, negotiating a settlement, and representing you in court, especially against insurance companies.

What Are the Most Common Mistakes People Make After a Car Accident?

Being in a car accident can be tough, but knowing what to do afterward is crucial. Many accident victims don’t know the right steps and end up making mistakes that hurt their personal injury claims later on. 

Here are the most common mistakes people make after a car accident in New Jersey. Knowing these mistakes and avoiding them can help you resolve your case successfully.

Leaving the Accident Scene 

It’s important to stay at the car accident scene, especially if there’s significant damage or injury, until the police come. If you must leave, tell the police why, where you’re going, and how they can reach you.

Not Checking for Injuries

After a car accident, it’s important to check for injuries, even if you don’t feel hurt. Adrenaline can hide pain, so make sure you and your passengers can move safely. If anyone is hurt, call 911. It’s wise to see a doctor even if injuries seem minor, as some, like whiplash, may not show up immediately. Going to a medical professional after the accident can provide documentation of the injuries supporting your claim.

Not Calling the Police

No matter how bad the accident, always call the police. Their police report is crucial for insurance and legal reasons. Be honest and helpful, but don’t guess or say it’s your fault.

Admitting Fault or Taking Responsibility for the Accident

After an accident, avoid saying “I’m sorry,” as it might be seen as admitting fault. Don’t apologize, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault.

Failing to Gather Evidence

Another mistake people often make is not collecting enough evidence at the car accident scene. With smartphones, it’s simple to document everything. Take photos and videos of the scene, vehicle damage, and road signs. 

Not Exchanging Information

Forgetting to swap info with the other driver is a common mistake: exchange names, contact info, insurance details, and license plate numbers. Also, get contact details from witnesses. This info helps speed up claims and resolve disputes.

Giving Too Much Information to the Insurance Company

Remember, insurance companies are looking out for themselves and will try to reduce or deny your claim. Don’t talk about the details of your accident, like who was at fault or your injuries, until you’ve spoken with a Shrewsbury car accident lawyer. 

Agreeing to a Settlement Too Quickly

A fast settlement isn’t the same as a complete one. Once you agree to a settlement from the insurance company, you can’t reopen your case if you later discover more injuries or need more medical care. You’ll have to pay for these additional medical costs yourself.

Not Being Honest About Your Past Accidents

Don’t hide a past accident from your attorney. If you file a claim, the other side will ask about your past accidents. It’s easy for them to find out, as insurance companies can access databases with this information. 

They usually ask to see if you’re honest. You’ll probably lose your claim if you lie to the insurance company about your past accidents without telling your lawyer.

Not Being Honest About Your Past Injuries

Don’t lie to your attorney about past injuries or try to make your current injuries seem worse than they are. You should be completely honest with your attorney about any injuries you had before or after this accident. If you had previous injuries, there are probably medical records that prove it.

Filing a Claim Before You’re Ready

Another mistake people often make after a car accident is filing a claim too early. They should do it immediately to get compensation for their damages. But that’s not always the best choice. If you file too soon, your insurance company might deny it. 

They usually don’t like to pay out claims unless they have to. It’s usually better to wait until all your damages are known before filing. This ensures you get the best payout possible from your insurance.

Talking About Your Claim on Social Media

Using social media after an accident can be risky. What you share could help insurance companies build a case against you. Insurance adjusters often check social media to monitor claimants. They look for posts and photos contradicting your claims of a severe injury. They may even misinterpret innocent posts to weaken your credibility.

Be careful about sharing updates about your accident or health on social media. Even simple posts about your life could cause issues with your claim. For example, if a Facebook friend asks how you’re feeling and you say you’re better, an insurer could use that to argue that your injuries aren’t serious. 

They might also use photos of hobbies or trips to suggest your injury hasn’t affected you, even if it has.

Trying to Manage Your Claim Without Legal Help

If you’re in a car accident, getting legal help is crucial. Some try to manage it alone, but this can lead to more issues. For instance, negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company might not get you the best settlement. Car accident lawyers know how to work through the legal system to get you fair compensation. 

They can also manage all the paperwork and calls with these cases. Dealing with a car accident alone can be overwhelming. You don’t have to do it by yourself. Many skilled lawyers can protect your rights and guide you through the process.

Returning to Work Too Soon After the Accident

Another mistake to avoid is returning to work too quickly after a car accident. Some people think they should return to work immediately, but this isn’t always the best idea. Returning too soon can worsen your injuries. 

It can also be hard to concentrate on work when you’re dealing with the aftermath of an accident. Take some time off to heal before returning to work if you can.

What Are the Possible Consequences of These Mistakes?

If a car accident victim makes mistakes after their crash, those mistakes can:

  • Stop the victim from getting compensation.
  • Lower the value of any insurance payment they might get.
  • Make a successful lawsuit less likely.
  • Lower the value of any settlement or court decision.

If you make a mistake, it doesn’t mean you can’t get compensation. A good lawyer can still help you get all the money you deserve. But it’s important to hire a Shrewsbury car accident attorney quickly to help you and fight for your financial recovery.

What is New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injury Claims?

If you were hurt in an accident, it’s essential to act quickly. New Jersey law limits how long you must file a personal injury lawsuit, usually just two years. If this time limit passes, a judge may dismiss your claims.

Will I Receive Compensation After a Car Accident in New Jersey?

Before awarding compensation, the court must decide on damages and who is responsible. The party that is more at fault in the accident is liable. Once negligence is determined, the court will assess your economic and non-economic damages, unique to your situation. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the financial losses a person suffers from an accident or injury. These damages typically include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Other monetary losses directly related to the incident

Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are types of compensation in a personal injury case that are not easily quantifiable in monetary terms. These damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

These damages often cover the accident’s physical, personal, and financial costs.

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?

A Shrewsbury car accident lawyer will handle all aspects of your case, including:

  • Gathering all evidence that helps your case
  • Talking to witnesses of the accident
  • Figuring out how much your accident costs
  • Keeping records like medical and work records
  • Hiring experts to help your case
  • Discussing a settlement
  • Going to trial if needed

They will also handle insurance companies that might try hard to keep the money you should get.

Your Trusted Legal Partner in Avoiding Mistakes and Getting Compensation After a New Jersey Car Accident

Avoid these mistakes after a New Jersey vehicle accident to protect your rights and collect compensation. The legal system might be challenging to navigate when you’re injured and stressed from the accident; that is where Kreizer Law comes in. 

Our trusted Shrewsbury car accident attorney understands New Jersey car accident situations. We’ll help you gather proof and negotiate with insurers. Avoid blunders that could hurt your case. Trust Kreizer Law to defend you.

We’re committed to getting you the best possible outcome so you can focus on healing and moving forward. We can also assist you with Bed Rail Injuries, Broken Bones, Spinal Injuries, Cancer Misdiagnosis, and Home Accidents. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you secure the compensation you need after an accident in New Jersey.

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